Botnets are a primary cause for the ever increasing levels of spam. Botnets are infected computers that their masters (bot-herders) turn into zombies, spewing out spam e-mails by the millions.
These bot-herders cause a lot of us, a whole lot of grief.
The FBI press release announced yesterday:
They’re called “bot-herders:” hackers who install malicious software on computers through the Internet without the owners’ knowledge. Once the software is loaded, they can control the computer remotely. And once they’ve compromised enough computers, they have a robot network or botnet.According to the press release, several people have been arrested, including three of the big-time "masters."
Some botnets are huge: tens of thousands of infected computers. Or more. As a result of Operation Bot Roast, an ongoing and coordinated initiative to disrupt and dismantle these bot-herders, we’ve identified about 1 million computers across the country that have been compromised.
Full story from the FBI, here.
Also contained are a lot of useful links on protect yourself -- and of course your computer -- and what to do if you think your computer was turned into a zombie.
Bot-herders have been reported to rent out their illicit networks to organized criminals by the hour.
What your computer must feel like after being turned into a zombie (Courtesy of Wikipedia).